Thursday, April 30, 2009

Being an Extremist

If you have read anything that I have ever written here, you know that extremism on any level is not well received. Such a mindset completely cuts us off from insights and possibilities.

Extremism binds and restricts. It narrows and diminishes. It judges self-righteously and is coarse. It cultivates dishonesty in us and in our relationship with others. Extremism grows in the willing heart.

Recently, I came across a quote by Jack Nicholson that I really love. It speaks of the opposite of extremism, the antithesis of denial and dishonesty. It speaks of the benefit in accepting the ideas of others even when we thought we were, oh, so right.

I love it when I wake up & realize I have been totally wrong about something - it sets me free.
Is this not an incredibly valuable mindset to possess? As I look into the mirror I ask, "what do you see?" Extremism clouds correct thoughts and openings that would inhibit a better me.

8 comments:

Marion said...

Fabulous quote and loaded with wisdom! Thanks for "Being Judith"!

CathM said...

Super post. Absolutely well said!

judith ellis said...

Marion - I am forever becoming more of what I will yet be. That is a great quote, isn't it?! I just loved it!

judith ellis said...

Hi Catherine - Good to see you. Thanks. Heading over your way now!

dave wheeler said...

Judith,

Now that is profound! Being wrong is to learn...so folks are adverse to doing that because?

Terrific stuff Auntie Judith...thanks!

judith ellis said...

It is not so easy as simply being wrong and learning, Dave. Our self-worth and identity are often embroiled in admiting wrong or failure and we often take a personal hit on some level or another, to a lesser or greater degree depending on our maturity. BUT, THE MOST SIGNIFICANT THING IS OUR RESPONSE.

Our response is what makes the difference for ourselves and others, propelling us forward or pushing us backward. From there we can begin to work things out, even if we are not altogether sure of ourselves at the moment. The decision here is what matters most, our mindset. We are all as Nietzsche said, "Human, All Too Human."

dave wheeler said...

Judith,

I see your point about self worth and identity but I have always been one for what ever reason sees identity and self worth enhanced by being quick to admit I was wrong. Guess it was my Dad who taught me the value of "doing the right things, the right way". Personally I have found that staying open minded and admitting being wrong breaks down a lot of barriers between people. Professionally, the earlier you spot and correct "problems" you decrease costs...tangible and intangible.

Old School vs Old Fool...I'll be on line one!

judith ellis said...

"Personally I have found that staying open minded and admitting being wrong breaks down a lot of barriers between people. Professionally, the earlier you spot and correct 'problems' you decrease costs...tangible and intangible."

Dave - I agree with these words wholeheartedly.

By the way, I too admit to errors and shortcomings readily.